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Washington
HARP refinances hit highest-ever level
WASHINGTON (8/8/12)--In its just-released June Refinance Report, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) said that one of every three refinances through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were made through the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP).  FHFA said that is the highest percentage claimed by the program since its inception in April 2009.

The FHFA attributed the HARP volume increase to record-low mortgage rates, as well as enhancement instituted to the program last fall.  Those changes included removal of the loan-to-value (LTV) ceiling for borrowers who refinance into fixed-rate loans and the elimination or reduction of fees for certain borrowers.

Also in the report, the FHFA reported that:

  • Through June of this year, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinanced 422,969 loans through HARP, more than the total 400,024 HARP refinances for all of 2011;
  • HARP refinances for loans with LTV greater than 125% jumped to more than 40% of HARP volume in June as lenders began to sell Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac securities containing these loans June 1;
  • More than two-thirds of borrowers in Nevada, Arizona and Florida-- states hard-hit by the housing downturn--refinanced through HARP in June, compared with 33% nationwide;
  • Also in Nevada, Arizona and Florida, underwater borrowers (with LTV greater than 105%) represented more than 80% of HARP volume in June;
  • Since 2009, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac refinanced more than 2.2 million loans through their existing programs and more than 1.4 million loans through HARP.
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